- Set a timer for a limited amount of time (7-10 minutes)
- Think quietly about the topic for a moment
- Begin writing. A freewrite is exactly what it sounds like: free! The idea behind a freewrite is to practice writing down your thoughts. Any thoughts you have about the topic, write them down, even if it doesn’t sound perfect. That thought will invariably lead to another thought which will lead to another and along the way, you may end up with something quite valuable or insightful. Similar to brainstorming, freewrites help free up your writing so you can explore a topic unhindered by your inner critic.
- Try to view handwriting, spelling, and grammar as less important during the freewrite. I’m a huge supporter of polished writing, but the goal for the freewrite is to practice going straight from your mind to the paper. The logistics of proper writing can sometimes can weigh down the writer so the freewrite goal is left unmet.
- Encourage yourself and your student to continue writing forward rather than backing up to correct mistakes. One suggestion: Use a pen!
- Enjoy the finished freewrite and don’t nit-pick it. Sometimes a freewrite can turn into a story or essay idea. If that’s the case, fantastic! Use the ideas you liked from the freewrite and leave the rest. However, most of the time, a freewrite is written as a warm-up, a fun exercise to help you feel comfortable writing, or, like a brainstorm, it’s a tool to help you explore a certain topic.